The Lawfare Podcast: Alina Polyakova and Torrey Taussig on 'The Democracy Playbook'

Jen Patja, Benjamin Wittes, Alina Polyakova, Torrey Taussig
Saturday, March 21, 2020, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
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Democracies around the world are under assault, with their norms and institutions undermined by authoritarian actors. From Hungary to India and beyond, illiberal or populist governments are weakening the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the integrity of elections.

As part of a two-episode Lawfare podcast series on the state of global democracy, Benjamin Wittes spoke with Alina Polyakova and Torrey Taussig about democracy promotion. Alina Polyakova is the president of the Center for European Policy Analysis, and Torrey Taussig is a non-resident fellow at Brookings’ Foreign Policy program and a research director of the Belfer Center at the Harvard Kennedy School. On Tuesday, we will release a second episode with experts at Freedom House on their annual “Freedom in the World” report.

In this episode, Ben, Alina, and Torrey discussed “The Democracy Playbook,” a report by Alina and Torrey—along with Brookings experts Norman Eisen, Andrew Kenealy, and Susan Corke—outlining strategies that supporters of liberal democracy can implement to prevent and reverse democratic backsliding. They talked about Central and Eastern Europe, the drivers of democratic discontent, and how all of this compares to the situation in the United States.

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.
Alina Polyakova is the David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Foreign Policy program's Center on the United States and Europe and adjunct professor of European studies at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Torrey Taussig is a research director at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution.

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